Organisational Behaviour

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After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Define organizational behavior (OB)
2. Describe what managers do
3. Explain the value of the systematic study of OB
4. List the major challenges and opportunities for managers to use OB concepts 5. Identify the contributions made by major behavioral science disciplines to OB 6. Describe why managers require a knowledge of OB

7. Explain the need for a contingency approach to the study of OB 8. Identify the three levels of analysis in this book’s OB model


Managers need to develop their interpersonal or people skills if they are going to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within an organization, then applies that knowledge to make organizations work more effectively. Specifically, OB focuses on how to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and increase employee citizenship and job satisfaction.

We all hold generalizations about the behavior of people. Some of our generalizations may provide valid insights into human behavior, but many are erroneous. Organizational behavior uses systematic study to improve predictions of behavior that would be made from intuition alone. Yet, because people are different, we need to look at OB in a contingency framework, using situational variables to moderate cause-effect relationships.

Organizational behavior offers both challenges and opportunities for managers. It recognizes differences and helps managers to see the value of workforce diversity and practices that may need to be changed when managing in different countries. It can help improve quality and employee productivity by showing managers how to empower their people as well as how to design and implement change programs. It offers specific insights to improve a manager’s people skills. In times of rapid and ongoing change, faced by most managers today, OB can help managers cope in a world of “temporariness” and learn ways to stimulate innovation. Finally, OB can offer managers guidance in creating an ethically healthy work climate.


At the end of each chapter of this instructor’s manual, you will find suggested exercises and ideas for researching the WWW on OB topics. The exercises “Exploring OB Topics on the Web” are set up so that you can simply photocopy the pages, distribute them to your class, and make assignments accordingly. You may want to assign the exercises as an out-of-class activity or as lab activities with your class. Within the lecture notes the graphic will note that there is a WWW activity to support this material.

The chapter opens introducing Michael Bowser who is a supervisor/team chief for the Department of Defense. The 13 to 18 people who report to him are technical specialists. Despite his technical background as a systems engineer, he states what his job really requires is “people skills.” He has worked to develop his communication skills and learned ways of motivating his staff to meet their individual needs.


What Manager’s Do

|A. Importance of Developing Managers’ Interpersonal Skills |Notes: | |Companies with reputations as a good place to work—such as Hewlett-Packard, Lincoln Electric, Southwest | | |Airlines, and Starbucks—have a big advantage when attracting high performing employees. | | | |...
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